Dear State Health Agency Leader,
On behalf of the Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs (AMCHP) and its local, state, and national partners, it is my pleasure to invite youth and young adult leaders (including students), community‐based organizations, and tribal governments involved with your MCH efforts to attend the upcoming AMCHP Annual Conference which will be held virtually from May 24‐27, 2021.
Each year, AMCHP’s annual conference brings together more than 900 MCH leaders, researchers, and practitioners to share the latest ideas, evidence, and wisdom in maternal and child health. Since 2017, the AMCHP conference has benefited immensely from the increased involvement and leadership of youth and young adult leaders whether by serving as expert panelists during workshops, creating and leading a plenary session focused on youth empowerment at the 2020 conference, or sharing their insights during networking opportunities with other attendees. This year, AMCHP would like to build on the demonstrated commitment to supporting your youth and young adult leaders to attend the conference by also offering meaningful support to others with lived experience, especially community‐based organizations and tribal governments that you work with and who are not often represented at the AMCHP conference.
AMCHP strives to exemplify the Jemez principles of democratic organizing, “nothing about us without us.” More often than not community members are not involved, integrated, or prioritized when it comes to the various policies and programs that impact their peers and families. We are committed to providing a space and audience so that their perspective is recognized and integrated in MCH priorities. The AMCHP Annual Conference is the only national conference designed specifically to support the needs of state MCH professionals and serves as a critical investment in the ongoing professional development of your MCH and CYSHCN staff. This includes working with youth and young adult stakeholders, as well as those with lived experiences from the communities they serve.
The work of Title V and our members is enhanced immeasurably by working in partnership with CBOs and tribal governments. A key piece of this partnership is listening to and learning from community members’ expertise about what effective initiatives already exist in their communities and collaborating on ways to further support and sustain that work at the state level. Supporting CBOs and tribal governments to attend the conference is one way that you as Title V can honor and learn from community expertise on understanding MCH issues. The conference serves as a key opportunity for you to explore ways to better connect Title V to local MCH organizations and increase your awareness of MCH work being done at the community level. This is one step in the process of examining and better understanding Title V’s role in supporting effective MCH programming at the community level – trust building.
AMCHP invites those with lived experiences and partners outside our traditional membership to participate in key conference activities such as networking opportunities with other AMCHP leaders, concurrent workshops and poster sessions, and plenaries featuring presentations by national leaders in maternal and child health. Please visit our conference registration page1 and consider making the investment to send representatives from your state to the conference. We firmly believe that supporting these representatives to attend the conference will increase your program’s capacity in youth and community engagement and leadership development and will be a meaningful step toward building and developing trusting relationships with these groups in your state. I hope you will support this opportunity for those with lived experience and partners including community‐based organizations and tribal governments to participate in this timely event. If you have any questions or would like additional information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Interim Chief Executive Officer